Stats: Our Big Trip by the Numbers

We Belfiores are math-people.  (Hey — no giggling out there!  This is true!)

Want proof? Try asking one of us whether we were worried about traveling around the world in the face of ISIS and other unfortunate conflict around the world, which makes travel SEEM like it might be unsafe… and we’ll respond with an explanation rooted in the statistics of misfortune that might befall travelers around the world.  (hint:  motor vehicle trauma is FAR SCARIER than terrorism.)

Want more proof?  We can tell you how far we walked.  And how far we drove.  Guess which was farther… number of ship-miles or number of plane-miles?  Guess another — which was farther.. our total mileage, or the distance from the earth to the moon!?

SO, now that you’re interest is piqued… here’s the NUMERICAL view of our Big Trip!

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Iceland 2: The End.


At 4pm on Tuesday we were sitting around “Joe and the Juice” in the Reykjavik airport, looking up at the Flight Departures monitor. Bags checked, we had an hour to kill before our flight.

Wistfully, I said to the kids “Hey — take a look at that board.  If I said you could pick one of THOSE flights instead of our Seattle flight.. and keep going for a month… which would you pick?”

Four of us chose an intriguing city we hadn’t yet visited and went with the hypothetical… Alexander liked the Canadian east coast. The other choices were in Europe– ready to skip out on our return home.

But Piper stood alone in her conviction. Even though we’d had an amazing time finishing up Iceland with a helicopter tour and silica masks in the Blue Lagoon … she knew that all good things must come to an end and great things were waiting for us back at home.

How lucky we’ve been … how lucky we are…  is not lost on us.

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The Dark Side

We didn’t want everyone getting the idea that our trip has been all smiles and tropical cocktails, or that we’re not telling the whole story on our blog…so for a few months we’ve been meaning to share some of the “dark side” moments from our travels. And finally, here they are.

By the way, a number of months ago, I ACCIDENTALLY posted an early and incomplete version of this blog (who noticed? It was called “Swing and a Miss”).  Oops. Subsequently, the kids saw that  parents also receive  “consequences” occasionally.  Read on to hear about the darkness that rained down on me as a result…   WARNING:  regurgitation photos below!

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The Voyage Ends: Au Revoir, Life-at-Sea!


by The Whole Family.


We can’t believe it… our nearly-four-months aboard the MV World Odyssey.. IS OVER!

A year or so ago the idea of being at sea with a ship full of college students still seemed pretty, well, nutty.  Let’s just say some of our friends thought it “insanity.” But now the journey… over 27,000 miles with stops in 11 countries across 3 continents… has ended.   And now the five of us look (with some trepidation!) towards our NEXT three-months of travel WITHOUT all our wonderful shipboard amenities and the great new friends we made.  We will miss you, World Odyssey!

Want to see a slideshow of our best photos from the voyage?
Visit our home page!

Our last days at sea…

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Halfway done: “We have a new normal”

by the Whole Family

Sometime around the end of March — right around the time we were in Ghana– our Big Trip hit its halfway point.  Of course the “halfway point” is not well-defined, since we still haven’t finalized our exact plans for the end of the trip.  At some point we’ll know when we’re getting home.. but we don’t yet.

You may have noticed our blog has a “FAQ” .. but we’ve never completed it.  Until now.  Many of you have asked questions in email, in blog comments — but we wanted to get some experience under our belts, and now we’re going to answer them in this, our “Halfway done” blog post and FAQ.

A few days ago we arrived in Morocco (the kids had already written their answers below) and one of the students we know well was joined by his mother who traveled to Marrakech from Minnesota.  We were all together on an SAS trip touring the chaotic city..  filled with scooters and noise, jaywalking and cars cutting each other off; donkeys in the streets.  At lunch she said to us “I can’t believe that you all barely seem to notice the insanity in this place” and we realized that after 3 months visiting the diverse cities around the world… we have a new normal.

In the spirit of our “new normal”… enjoy the Q&A below, covering everything from

  • Are you MORE EXCITED or less about the trip than when you started?
  • Explain the VOYAGE and what you do each day.  Are you BORED?
  • What STUFF are glad you brought?
  • What do you MISS?
  • What have been your FAVORITE THINGS so far
  • What has been the WORST EXPERIENCE of the trip.

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